Legislative Update by State Senator Caryn Tyson

Caryn Tyson


April 14, 2023


Fake News Politics strikes a sorrowful note when politicians lie to further their own ambitions.   It not only happens in Washington but also in Kansas.  Disappointingly, a State Representative, who is a veteran, put out fake news about me.  He said that I single-handedly blocked a property tax exemption for disabled veterans.  He knows he is wrong.  First, as Chairman of the Senate Tax Committee, I have fought diligently for our veterans and military to increase their benefits in Kansas.  I was the leader who worked with other legislators (nothing happens in Topeka with only one person) creating a property tax freeze for disabled veterans and low-income seniors last year.  I also have led the effort this year in expanding qualifications for the program.  The results of the expansion are in Conference Committee Report (CCR) 8.  Hopefully it will become law.  I also proposed a 100% increase on the income tax personal exemption for disabled veterans.  It was signed into law last year for 100% disabled veterans.  The Representative who is spreading Fake News, needs to accept the facts.  Now, he is trying to take credit for the property-tax freeze (it originated in the Senate, not the House) and for a Constitutional Amendment that I introduced and got passed in the Senate (again, working with others), SCR 1611.  It will limit property valuation increases for EVERYONE to a maximum of 4% each year with a few exceptions.  Hopefully it will pass the House, then voters can decide.


The property tax exemption for disabled veterans, House Bill (HB) 2036, didn’t pass the House until the last day of session and wasn’t assigned to the Senate Tax Committee until days after standing committee meetings had ended for this session.  If this was such a priority for the Representative, why did he wait until the clock ran out?  As for me blocking HB 2036, the words of the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Tax Committee stated the facts,  “Someone has given you bad information. Chairman Tyson offered to accept HB 2036, but the House turned down the offer. I was in the room when the offer was made and rejected. Just thought I should set the record straight.”


Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, HB 2313, was vetoed by the Governor.  The legislation would make it a crime to let a baby die that was born alive during an abortion or attempted abortion.  The bill passed by supermajority in both chambers.  There will be a veto override attempt that should pass if no legislators change their position.  I voted for the legislation and will vote for the override.


Firearms Safety and Training in Schools, HB 2304, was also vetoed by the Governor.  The bill providing schools an option for firearms safety classes passed the Senate with enough votes for  a veto override.  The House was a few votes short.  Hopefully, they can find the votes so the bill will become law.  I voted for HB 2304 and will vote for the motion to override.


Fairness in Women’s Sports, HB 2238, was vetoed by the Governor for the third year in a row.  The results didn’t end the same this year because the legislature had 2/3 majority to override the veto, and did so.  A supermajority of legislators understand that fairness in women’s sports only include biological women competing against each other.  I voted for the bill and for the veto override.


It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.


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